Monday, May 05, 2008

beauty in shadows

The seed I gave, if transferred to the One who is Light, would have taken root where it belonged--in the heart of the recipient; the heart He and I both love. But the seed was not transferred to God. While I watched, helpless, the god of shadows wooed open the hand that held it, took the hopeful kernel, and planted it in a seedbed of gall and resentment. And overnight, the seed grew into a bitter tree.

The twisting branches of this black canopy have covered me in darkness. The one whose hand caused this cares little, or none at all, that this shadow has fallen not just on me, but on all we love in common. Such is the way of bitterness.

But God's light always shines brightest in the dark places. I've been visited in this grove.

"I love you," several told me. Such vastness spoken in just the barest of syllables. "I know your character," said others. One held me tightly, unable to speak, but I could feel her heartbeat. And when we pulled apart, I looked past her tears and saw all the words locked away. I know you. I trust you.

"Can I pray with you?" a stranger asked me. She knew nothing, and she knew everything. "Father," she began, "would You strengthen my sister ...." Then the woman who doesn't know me proved that the Spirit within her does.

God sent His comfort through the tears of a close brother, the tight hug of another, knowing smiles, a hand on my shoulder, penned affection. And He sent flowers to brighten my darkness.

"Do you know how much I love you?" said the first card, attached to the first vase holding one single, perfect carnation. Addressed to my husband and me, it was signed, "Your Father."

Ten minutes later, the same florist knocked on our door. In her hand, she held another vase holding another perfect carnation. "Do you know how much I love you? ~Your Father."

Ten minutes more, and another knock brought the same florist, and the same offering. "Do you know how much I love you? ~Your Father."

Then at last, her knock brought a big bouquet of loveliness. Deep purple, the color of His royalty ... and bright yellow daisies and lilies, to remind me of the sunlight beyond these shadows. Brilliant fuchsia mums and zinnias, that spoke of coming joy. Tender, peach-blush roses, that reminded me I am His bride.

The last card told us that He knows, He sees, and He has a plan.

Beauty in shadows. Light in the darkness. And a love that knows only truth.

How grateful I am to be His.

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7 Comment:

At 5/05/2008 8:31 AM, Blogger Cora had this to say ...

Wow, Shannon. Beautifully written. I love you, dear friend.

At 5/05/2008 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...


Praying for you today- I hear your heart in those words and I feel your pain with them. He loves you and so do I!

God bless you,

At 5/05/2008 1:31 PM, Blogger Kim had this to say ...

This is so beautiful. I didn't realize I had been holding my breath until the end. I love you.

At 5/05/2008 1:34 PM, Blogger Nancy had this to say ...


As Kayla and I were leaving church yesterday, she said to me "Why would someone do that to Shannon?" I didn't have an answer for her.

We love you bunches :)

At 5/05/2008 3:33 PM, Blogger Darlene had this to say ...

So beautifully expressed, Shannon!! Your writing reflects His beauty far more than spoken words ever could. Isn't that cool?

At 5/06/2008 6:45 AM, Anonymous karen had this to say ...

I only read your blog here and read your book, i just love your heart and the gift you have with words...i have no idea what happened to you but i am so grateful to God that you are surrounded with loving people who can be God with skin on for you during this difficult terrible time. May your people surround you closely

At 5/07/2008 5:33 PM, Blogger Sue had this to say ...

Just as Ada's song she sang for us at women's retreat, God has once again made something beautiful out of hurt. I hurt for your hurt and praise the Lord for the beauty and love He has sent me through you. Thank you. You know I am praying for you.


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